I don't believe UC ever comes to the point of malnutrition needing a feeding tube for most flares. The only time we contend with them, is if we need to fatten up before a surgery, and that is getting rarer and rarer these days as we're usually in a much, much better state when undergoing a colectomy then was the case several decades ago due to medication improvement and early interventions.
We are still getting some nutrients from foods during flares but not as much as we would during a remission. We're just inefficient digesters during flares. The more complex to digest things are only partially digested when we have very fast transit times during flares. As an example, I saw raw fruits and veggies would pass in a semi-digested state for me quite regularly. That's why I'm consistent in suggesting folks eat well cooked foods and avoiding raw when flaring. Soups, broths, potatoes, rice, and well cooked meats have nutrients that are readily available for speedy digestion. So depending on what you eat, you do get a good percentage of the nutrients needed. What that percentage is, depends on what you eat and how fast your GI tract is moving. But there are most certainly consequences thereof.
Rapid weight loss only occurs during the very worst of our flares, which is hopefully a month or less when we start on Pred to stabilize ourselves. Afterwards, the weight loss slows to a more manageable and sustainable rate while our meds begin to work. The average weight loss is about
20 pounds during a severe UC flareup. I've hit 17 pounds of weight loss within 3 weeks during my 20+ bms a day flare. Much milder flares were a loss of 5 pounds during the worst of it. Given, there is still a gradual weight loss as we continue to recover and it might account for another 3-4 pounds as we simmer and recover. It, like everything UC, can be highly variable but 20-ish pounds seems to be a safe number, a few overachievers and underachievers noted.
Does a aversion/distaste for food have an affect, oh yes undeniably. However, it is not the entire equation by itself. It can definitely accelerate weight loss. I hear fasting mentioned a lot during flares, and that also accelerates weight loss.
And our abysmal blood test numbers (low iron, vitamins B, b12, D, and others) and hairloss as consequences of flares kind of speaks volumes to malnutrition, poor nutrient absorption, or whatever you want to phrase it is. Generally all semantics at that point. It's not just something that our Crohn's disease friends experience, even without us having small intestinal inflammation.
Moderator Ulcerative Colitis
John, 39, UC Proctosigmoiditis
Rx: Remicade @5mgs/kg/6wks; daily 75mgs 6MP, 4.8g Lialda, and 2X rowasaLearn how to train your belligerent and out of control bowels! After this course you'll have obedient and well mannered bowels with no more unexpected gurgling, urgency, or sharting! Save hundreds annually on underwear!
Post Edited (iPoop) : 8/10/2017 8:08:08 AM (GMT-6)